The 13 Best Car Seat Brands for Your BabyPublished on 06/17/2023 · 9 min readTo find the best car seat for your children, Baby & Toddler Expert Ashley Spurlock compares the top car seat brands for safety, convenience, comfort, and durability.
Photo by Alexander Grey
My car seat journey started back in 2014 with the birth of my first son. Now, as the mom of two boys ages eight and six, I’ve purchased eight car seats in total. Yes, you read that correctly, eight seats for two kids. Let’s break down the math.
When my first son was born he went to daycare—my husband and I both worked full-time outside the home and shared drop off and pick up duty—so we started out with one infant seat with two bases. We had one base in each of our cars and would transfer the infant seat back and forth from car to car and into his daycare center. At about a year old, his infant seat became too cumbersome for me to carry any longer. So, we purchased our first convertible car seat.
26 months after our first son was born, we welcomed our second son into the family. Our oldest was now in a convertible seat full time, so we had one in my husband’s car and one in mine and again did the infant seat transfer. When that got too heavy again, I went for two convertible seats in my car and the infant seat and convertible seat went into my husband's car (we’re up to four seats now in case you’ve lost count!).
Fast forward five years, and we now have a five-point harness high-back booster, a seat belt booster, and two backless booster seats which we keep in our two cars and use for travel….and that’s how you buy eight seats for two children.
Car seats are one of those purchases that all parents have to make. Whether you buy one or many, the choices can seem a bit daunting. But don’t be daunted, here is a breakdown of some of the most popular car seat brands.
Baby Jogger was founded in 1984 by father and avid-runner Phil Baechler as the first jogging stroller brand. Today, Baby Jogger features a wide range of products from jogging strollers, traditional strollers, in-home baby products, and car seats. The brand features anti-rebound bars on the base, and their City Go series of seats offer top quality in safety. They also recently launched the City Turn, a rotating car seat with extended rear-facing up to 50 lbs.
Founded in 1939 out of British Accessories, Britax acquired German brand Romer in 1971 and launched their first car seat in 1973. Since then, they have been a leader in car-seat safety innovation. When they relocated their United States headquarters to Fort Mill, South Carolina, in 2013, they introduced ClickTight installation, improving the ease of installment of their car seats and giving parents more confidence that their children will be secure and safe. Their most recent launch of B-Safe Gen2 infant car seats features spacious seats with tag-less, soft knit fabrics.
Italian-based Chicco is an American household brand name in baby products with over sixty years of manufacturing experience. Pietro Catelli, a developer of pharmaceutical devices, founded the brand in 1958 after the birth of his first son. Today, Chicco has grown internationally and is now sold in 120 countries across the globe. The top-selling Chicco KeyFit infant car seat comes in a variety of styles and price points.
Canadian-based Clek is known for their car seats that are built like tanks. Made from an alloy steel frame substructure, their slim-fit line of car seats is a popular choice for parents looking to use three car seats across their back seat. In addition, their seats feature extended rear-facing up to 50 lbs.
Their safety features like the rigid-UAS latch system and anti-rebound bars are some of the most advanced. And, if you want fun colors and patterns, Clek has you covered with colors like Snowberry (hot pink), 10 Year Blue (bright blue), and Aura (vibrant purple), and wild prints like Tokidoki Reef Rider featuring animals riding undersea creatures.
German manufacturer Cybex entered the baby market in 2014 when they purchased Chinese-based Goodbaby International Holdings Limited. The Cybex brand emphasizes luxury, high safety standards, and urban design and function. The company boasts three levels of products ranging from silver to platinum.
The Cloud Q platinum with SensorSafe technology features a load leg for added security. The high-end infant seat comes in a variety of prints and patterns including collaborations with top American designers like celebrity fashion designer Jeremy Scott. For those looking for a lightweight infant seat option, look no further than the Cybex Aton 2, also featuring SensorSafe and weighing in at just nine lbs.
The go-to brand for parents seeking slim-fit seats that work three across and work for newborns up to children age 10, Diono seats are also a popular choice for parents looking for extended rear-facing up to 50 lbs.
Seattle-based and founded in 1999, Diono has 20-plus years of car seat manufacturing experience. The brand is famous for their Radian all-in-one convertible seats featuring a wide array of safety features. If you are looking for the one that has it all, the Radian 3QXT FirstClass SafePlus features the ability to fold for travel, a two-in-one anti-rebound panel that reduces rebound rotation by 50%, an adjustable calf support, mesh panels, premium fabrics, and an infant insert.
Founded by Israeli Industrial Designer Yoav Mazar, Doona is most known for its revolutionary car seat and stroller-in-one design. Named after Mazar’s oldest daughter, Danielle (Doona), Mazar wanted to create a product that simplified the design of the stroller and car seat into one seamless product. They’ve expanded their collection which now includes the Liki Trike, named after Mazar’s second daughter Lihi (Liki).
With a history dating back more than 100 years, American brand Evenflo was founded in Ravenna, Ohio, in the 1920s. Catering to families of all budgets, Evenflo is known for their affordability, safety, and cutting-edge innovation. Part of their luxe Gold collection, the Revolve 360 Rotational All-In-One Convertible Car Seat is one of the most affordable 360-degree rotating car seats on the market and the only rotating seat with three modes. It has the highest weight and height range of any rotational seat, at 120 lbs and 57 inches.
Founded in 1942 as Graco Metal Products and entering the baby market in 1955, Graco is a tried-and-true car seat brand known for their affordability and innovation. They were the first to introduce four-in-one car seats—which transition through all stages of a child’s development. And they’ve introduced everything from rear-facing convertible seats for infants, all the way to a backless booster for big kids. The best-selling 4Ever DLX seat eliminates the need to buy separate seats for each stage of your child’s life.
Maxi-Cosi is under the brand Dorel Juvenile, a segment of Dorel Industries, Inc. who also owns the baby brand Safety 1st. With 35 years in the industry, Maxi-Cosi features a wide variety of mid-priced products to meet the needs of every family. With a high priority on safety, their seats exceed ASTM and governmental safety standards.
One of their more innovative products is the Coral XP infant car seat, which features a three-part modular nesting system, a standard car seat base, a car seat outer shell, and an inner-cross body carrier. This means you can use the seat as a carrier with the cross-body strap or unique handle carry feature or use it as a traditional infant seat with the standard handle or stroller mode.
Nuna is another high-end luxury brand that specializes in quality, safety, and sustainability. Their products feature such distinctions as OEKO-TEX Standard 100, which certifies products are free from harmful and allergenic substances; GOTS Certified, an environmental and socially responsible manufacturing certification; and TENCEL, which is an environmentally friendly brand of Merino wool.
Additionally, eight Nuna products have met the standards for GREENGUARD GOLD certification, which means they have been proven not to contribute hazardous chemicals or VOCs into the air. Lastly, they are a UNITAR (United Nations Institute for Training and Research) partner, which advances road safety education internationally.
Their rotating Nuna Revv is a popular choice for parents looking for a luxury brand rotating seat option. The seat features a lower anchor belt and no-rethread harness. The PIPA series is also a popular infant seat choice. Learn more about Nuna’s car seat offerings here.
These Italian-made car seats have been around since 1949. In fact, the current company president, Lucio Perego, was the inspiration behind the brand that his father Giuseppe created over 70 years ago. The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4/35 infant car seat is one of the few infant seat styles featuring the added safety feature of an anti-rebound bar on the car seat’s base.
Another newer brand with a unique naming story: UPPAbaby was founded in 2006 by Bob and Lauren Monahan. They named the brand after daughter Makena’s request of “uppa, uppa,” when she wanted to be held. Having worked in product development for the likes of Reebox and Ford, Bob Monahan launched UPPAbaby as an “entry-level luxury” brand. The UPPAbaby Mesa infant car seat includes an SPF-25+ sun canopy and pairs seamlessly with the brand’s ever-popular VISTA stroller.
Choosing a Car Seat (We Can Help)
The number one thing to remember when purchasing a car seat for your child is that the safest car seat is one that is properly installed. Finding the car seat that fits your needs and budget is key, but no matter what features the seat boasts, if it's not installed correctly, those features can’t do their job and keep your child safe.
I highly recommend watching a video on the installation of your particular seat to familiarize yourself with its features and make sure that it’s correctly installed in your vehicle. Then, make sure to thoroughly review the safety manual that comes with your seat. And, keep in mind that throughout the life of using your seat, make sure you are continuously checking that your child is fitting properly in the seat and make adjustments as necessary. Oftentimes, your seat will need to be adjusted to meet the needs of your growing child, whether that’s changing the positioning from rear to forward-facing or adjusting the headrest and shoulder height.
Additionally, make sure you check the expiration date found on your seat, and if your vehicle is ever in an accident while your seat is installed—depending on the type of accident—the seat may need to be replaced following a crash.
For help finding the best baby gear for your child, your needs, and your budget, reach out to me or one of my fellow Curated Baby and Toddler Experts. We’ve helped hundreds of parents and caregivers navigate this daunting task, and would love to assist you in your search.